Community Blog

Keeping Seniors Safe this Holiday Season

By Debbie Humphrey

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I want to start by saying how grateful I am to be in a profession where I can help people! No matter what the story…and everyone has a story…it is an enormous blessing and tremendously satisfying to assist someone in order to promote and maintain a happy, healthy quality of life for them.

That being said, there are too many troubling reports in the news each day about criminal activity in and around our communities. Since the vast majority of our clients at Home Helpers are seniors, I think it’s very important to address senior safety during the holidays.

We are fortunate to live in a tropical climate, so we don’t have to be concerned with snow and ice during our winter months. After all, that’s one reason so many “snowbirds” flock to our warm, sunny state for the winter! However, even without snow and icy conditions, the risk of falls still exists for the elderly who struggle to stay ambulatory. Please be mindful of this when you visit seniors as a family member, friend or caregiver, and watch for tripping hazards in and around the home, like stray strands of Christmas lights, or packages and decorations that clutter walkways.  Speaking of lights, they can be most challenging, even for the most coordinated and patient adults. Consider assisting with holiday decorating and make sure to use flame-retardant materials and cords that are not damaged to avoid potential fire events. Remember, never leave your Christmas lights on and unattended!

Obviously, seniors are some of our most vulnerable citizens on the planet. If possible, accompany seniors when they do their holiday shopping, or offer to do it for them. Always place packages in the trunk of your car to keep potential thieves a target. If the trunk is not an option, use a blanket to cover your packages in the back seat or floor board.

For seniors shopping alone, it is always best to venture out during daylight hours when you are more alert and rested. If you must go out after dark by yourself, park in a well-lit area as close to the door of your destination as possible, and lock the doors! When returning to your vehicle, carefully check your surroundings and watch out for suspicious behavior. If you, or the conditions, do not feel safe, request a store employee escort you to your car.

In terms of good health practices, make sure the seniors you love are getting plenty of rest, good nutrition and hydration. Having plenty of water, fruits and vegetables on hand will help seniors keep their bodies nourished, promote their mind’s clarity, and boost energy during this busy time of year.

Everyone should practice frequent hand-washing, because germs and bacteria are easily transferred to shopping carts and door handles, among other things. By washing your hands for 20 seconds, lightly scrubbing fingers, fingernails, palms and wrists, you significantly reduce the risk of contracting a nasty bug during the holidays. This is especially important for seniors with compromised immune systems.

This is a great transition to doctors’ recommendations for seniors to get a flu vaccination. Seniors that are more susceptible to illness should seriously consider getting the flu shot. They are available at practically any pharmacy.

When you are out and about, take a few moments to check-in with the seniors you know and love, especially if they are aging at home alone. Not only will you be able to monitor their current situation, it will be a huge mood booster for you both!

Finally, by emphasizing the importance of senior safety during the holidays, chances are there will be no fear- or stress-filled moments to negatively impact what should be a happy, healthy holiday!

If you are unable to help a special senior someone living alone, and they could benefit from having the assistance of a caregiver, during the holidays or any time of year, do not hesitate to reach out to me. We can schedule a FREE consultation to discuss specific needs and concerns, and I can recommend the perfect caregiver to help!

Home Helpers® proudly serves male and female seniors in Clearwater, Dunedin, Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor, Tarpon Springs, Holiday, New Port Richey, Trinity, Port Richey, Hudson and surrounding areas. Contact me today to learn more about the many services offered through Home Helpers® We are Making Life Easier℠ 727.972.2539

Source: HomeHero